A word from the olympian legend - Lord Coe, Keynote Speaker at the Coventry Chamber of Commerce


In conversation with Lord Sebastian Coe, giving advice to young athletes at the beginning of their careers. The event was organised by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce at IXL Events Centre in Birmingham.


Lord Coe points out the huge importance of the school environment. He says that in sports one can get everything one wants from it and at every level. It's something one can derive great pleasure from.


Nathalie Luckett in conversation with Lord Seb Coe

He says: "Over the course of 10 or 12 days, we [David Morecroft and myself] have just done some research on that. There are billions of people on the planet who describe themselves as recreational runners. That's a huge asset.

Look at the London marathon. You have 20-30 athletes at the top in the world vying for positions for world records - local records and championship records alike. But then watch a woman running the marathon for the first time, celebrating as though she has won the Olympic title as she's just broken five laps, and that, for me, has every bit as much merit for our sport.

The big challenge now is with all the rubbish on TV and so much stuff on reality TV, everybody wants everything very quickly. So trying to say to a 12-year-old coming to me, coming down to the running track, I will say nothing much is going to happen in the first 5 to 6 years. And they want it to happen in the next 6 mins. It's a big challenge, a massive challenge for schools in particular.


I joined the athletics club in 1968 and didn't compete in Olympic Games until 1980. That's a 12-year apprenticeship, so it's encouraging youngsters to enjoy the journey.


Advice to young people, take from it what you want - you don't have to be training five times a week to get great pleasure from it - you can make great friendships that last a lifetime, and it takes time."

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